Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Peace Process Between India and Pakistan Suspended


(Photo : AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images) India and Pakistan have suspended their ongoing peace talks amid investigations into the Pathankot air base attack.

In a significant development, the Pakistan High Commissioner on Thursday revealed that the peace process between India and Pakistan at present "is suspended."

New Delhi claims that the attack on the Pathankot airbase on January 2 was masterminded by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.   While India is still waiting to hear from Pakistan on the outcome of its investigations into the attack, reports indicate that the joint investigation team (JIT) remains unconvinced about involvement of Pakistanis in the attack, and this seems to be taking a toll on Indo-Pak ties.

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Recently, China vetoed the UN sanctions committee's attempt to designate Azhar as a terrorist, maintaining that the case "did not meet the requirements" of the Security Council. This move came even after India had taken up this issue at a "fairly high level" with China.

Beijing's decision to block New Delhi's bid to have JeM chief and alleged Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN has angered India. High-level talks between India and Pakistan have been suspended since January, when India postponed a scheduled foreign secretary level talks after the Pathankot air force base that left seven soldiers dead.

Reacting on the development, India's main opposition party Congress said, "It is major diplomatic incident and embarrassment for government of India."

While PM Narendra Modi is facing pressure from opposition parties for "inviting Pakistan's ISI" to the airbase for the investigation, his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif is now saddled with disclosure in the Panama papers, which claims that his family has hidden wealth in offshore accounts.

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